Dear Valued Practitioner
The HPCSA has sent out communication applicable to healthcare professionals with regard to COVID-19. We have decided to summarise the key points for ease of reference. For more information you may click here.
Focus on Health team
What SA Health authorities know about COVID-19
- The Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize, has released a detailed statement on what South African health authorities now know about COVID-19. To read this statement click here.
- A few key points from this statement are as follows:
- The virus is shed through the airways and spreads by infected droplets passing from one individual to another.
- The duration of viral shedding varies significantly between different studies and may depend on severity of disease or the nature of the study itself.
- There is also variability with regard to Coronavirus persistence on various surfaces. A study found that SARS-CoV-2 remained detectable for up to 72 hours on some surfaces despite decreasing infectivity over time.
- Symptoms may develop between two days and two weeks following exposure to the virus.
- Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) is a serious complication of COVID-19. The lungs may become stiff and difficult to ventilate. It is for this reason that ARDS is associated with a high mortality rate.
- There have been two major advancements in the case management of severely ill patients who require ventilatory support:
- First is the advent of dexamethasone which has shown that deaths can be reduced by a third for patients on ventilators and can also help patients who only need supplemental oxygen.
- Evidence increasingly supports the avoidance of invasive ventilation strategies as far as possible.
- The NICD reported 10 700 COVID-19 admissions from 269 facilities (71 public- sector and 198 private-sector) in all nine provinces of South Africa between March 5 and June 21, 2020. These were the key findings:
- The median age of COVID-19 admissions was 50 years
- Among 8 245 (77%) patients with data on co-morbid conditions, 2 810 (34%) had one co-morbid condition and 3126 (37%) had two or more co-morbid conditions.
- The most commonly reported co-morbid conditions were hypertension 3419 (59%) and diabetes 2813 (48%)
- Some of the factors associated with in-hospital mortality were older age groups; male sex; and having co-morbid hypertension, diabetes, chronic cardiac disease, chronic renal disease, malignancy, HIV and obesity.
Annual fees extension
- Council announced a further extension of the deadline for the HPCSA annual fees payment to 30 September 2020 to assist practitioners during this challenging period.
- All annual practising certificates which expired on 31 March 2020 are now valid until 30 September 2020.
- Practitioners should continue to submit their applications for registration and/or restoration, electronically to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Applicants will be required to provide original documents upon the full resumption of services.
2020 HPCSA online symposia dates
- HPCSA will be hosting its symposia on digital platforms to ensure that practitioners continue to obtain their CEUs.